How to draw a Zentangle

I love drawing Zentangles. I also love incorporating them into all kinds of other artwork. I’ve had a few emails lately asking where people can see more of them and learn how to create Zentangles themselves so I have made this page:

How to Zentangle

How to Zentangle

March 2010 update. Two more Zentangle pages:

Zentangles – Examples, Ideas and Materials

Zentangle Links and Resources

2011 update:

Zentangle Workshop

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~ by theraggededge on September 29, 2009.

10 Responses to “How to draw a Zentangle”

  1. it looks great

  2. I have been doing zentangles for a long time, since high school, before they had a name. Diann

  3. There is no such thing in arts – “zentangle”. “Zentangle” is 3.5″x3.5″ paper sheet and Sakura ink pen, the rest is NeoPopRealism ink drawing.
    This ink drawing’s concept (and also acrylic on canvas) that uses the line and repetitive patterns without eraser and as meditation process was created by artist Nadia Russ in 1989.
    In January 2003, she created a word NeoPopRealism to name this style and manifested it internationally (http://nadiaruss.com). Right after that, Roberts and Thomas came with so-called “zentangle” – they simply wanted to sell some stuff – their Kit, etc.. They created a word “zentangle”, to distance themselves from the Russ’ NeoPopRealism original concept… to start their sell’s adventure. Read discussion related to this matter and ethics at http://zentanglestolenconcept.blogspot.com

    • Apart from being monochromatic pen and ink drawings, I don’t see a great deal of similarity between her work and Zentangle. Z. is a well-defined method of teaching an art-form to non-artists. It uses simple pattern to enable people to produce a small piece of art they can be proud of.

      Zentangle owes as much to calligraphy as anything else. Patterns are found and discovered the world over. No-one can own an art form – it has a life of its own and will grow, develop and change, just like human nature. It’s not plagiarism – plagiarism is passing a copy of something off as your own.

      So you can claim that an artist invented a method but you cannot contain or prevent its evolution. Neither can you prevent other people enjoying or profiting from their own work.

  4. Do you have any information regarding the use of Zentangle in connection with treating autism.
    For instance: as a means of relaxing or focusing?

    • Hi Lauretta, I don’t have any specific information regarding Zentangles and autism but I should think it would be beneficial in that creating Zs in a peaceful atmosphere would encourage the child (or adult) to relax. The repetitiveness of making patterns and the concentration required would enable the brain to filter out external stimuli. Why not try it and let me know how it goes? If it works, then Zentangles will be a great tool to add to your repertoire – you can take your supplies anywhere.

  5. I read the comment about Nadia Russ some while ago.  I was curious so I looked her up.  I do not really see any comparison with zentangle and her work. I have been tangling for about 6 months as a form of meditation and just plain fun.  I am a jewelry artist but have sadly neglected that lately for the zentangle. I am no Russ but I have created some pretty nifty little master pieces of my own and I say thank you Rick and Marie for re-introducing this art form to the world. I did buy the kit but found I really didn’t need it. I prefer making bigger pieces so I use water colour paper (smoother side) and the wonderful micron pens. Love hearing anything at all about Zentangle:)

    • Hi Susie, it is Nadia herself who is going around leaving comments on blogs… so watch out, you’ll be next! You are right, there is little similarity, as Nadia’s work is not purely abstract like Zentangles. I also find myself moving away from the constraints of 3.5″ squares. We have to call them ‘Zentangle-inspired’ art now. xx

  6. I am just getting into zentangles and am finding them incredibly addicting. I’m seeing patterns everywhere in my life, in so many things that I took for granted. Not only is it meditative but it’s also consciousness expanding. It’s pushing the boundaries of my world out in fascinating ways.

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